Baseball Drops Series Opener To Albany, 8-5
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG baseball team surrendered a seven-run third inning on its way to an 8-5 loss Friday evening to visiting Albany in the first of a three-game series at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. Senior Lloyd Enzor (Whiteville, N.C./Southeastern CC) drove in three runs in the loss, including his second home run of the season.
Albany (1-5) opened the scoring in the top of the third inning as it chased left-hander Dylan Hathcock (Tampa, Fla./Gaither) from the game. The Great Danes sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning as they scored seven runs on five hits while taking advantage of two UNCG errors. Albany designated hitter Josh Nethaway had the big hit of the inning with a bases loaded three-run double while Nolan Gaige added a two-run double in the inning for a 7-0 lead.
The Spartans (4-3) came right back out in the bottom of the third inning and started to chip away at the deficit as they plated three runs off of right-hander Kasceim Graham to make it a 7-3 contest. UNCG put the first two batters on base and quickly loaded the bases with one out. Senior Zach Leach (Herndon, Va./Herndon) put the Spartans on the board as he lined a two-run single into center field before Enzor followed with a run-scoring single to make it a four-run contest.
The two teams starting to settle in on the mound as the offenses were held off the board until Albany tacked on a run in the sixth inning. UNCG started to make some noise in the bottom of the eighth inning against Albany reliever Ryan Stinar. Leach started the rally by battling for a one-out walk before Enzor crushed a 3-1 pitch high over the left field wall for his second home run of the season to narrow the gap to 8-5.
The Spartans tried to mount a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning as Shawn Hendon (Bethesda, Md./Montgomery College) ripped a pinch-hit one out single through the left side for his third hit in three at-bats this season. Benigno Marrero (Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford) followed with a line drive shot that looked destined for the outfield by Albany shortstop Gordon Madej snared it and doubled off Hendon to end the game.
Hathcock (2-1) picked up his first loss of the season in his first start of the year as he lasted just 2.2 innings. He allowed seven runs, five of them earned, on seven hits while also walking five batters. Six Spartan relievers combined to limit the Great Danes to just one run over the final 6.1 innings.
Graham (1-1) earned the victory for Albany as he last 6.0 solid innings and limited UNCG to three runs on just three hits as he struck out five batters. Stinar picked up his first save of the season working the final 3.0 innings and allowing two runs while striking out four batters.
The Spartans and Great Dane continue their three-game series Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at the UNCG Baseball Stadium with sophomore right-hander Lee Gilliam (Chapel Hill, N.C./Chapel Hill) set to take the mound for UNCG.
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